On Sunday 7th Oct I decided to spend the day looking for cars. There was a car I really liked at a reputable garage in Bristol, so I drove to the garage to go and have a look at the car. Upon arrival I was informed that the car I had originally come to view was actually in the garage being serviced and prepped for sale.. In the meantime another car caught my eye. I asked about the car and showed my interest..
The salesman took me back into the office to find out more information about the vehicle that had caught my eye on the forecourt. This car had finance fall through and therefore no information was available on the website. However, the salesman offered to show me around the car and look first hand.. I really liked, so much I wanted to test drive it, which I did.Whilst on the test drive I asked the salesman "is the car fitted with cruise control?" his reply was "yes, but it doesn't work at slow speeds. You're not allowed to exceed 50 mph on trade plates". I took this as a verbal confirmation.
When I returned to the garage from the test drive I was greeted by their finance manager who offered me a 5 year finance deal on the car, which was too expensive and didn't allow me to have any money from my old car. I wanted to sell my car privately as I was convinced I could get more money from a private sale (he offered me £3400 I was looking for a minimum of £5000) as I have £2,500 I needed to pay off before I was to get a new car. I could put the other of the £2,500 I was expecting from the sale of my car as a deposit on the finance. Anyway, he did some calculations and he was able to meet my monthly repayment budget and offer me back £2,500 on my part exchange which was excellent. I signed the deposit and arranged to pick up my car the next day.
I went to pick up my car on the Monday after work and I could barely hold my excitement in. The salesman allowed to have a once over of the car before signing all of the finance documents. Again, I asked about how to activate/set the cruise control and the salesman said "It will be on the lever here, do you want me to go and get the car handbook?" I said "No", not wanting to waste any more time.. Presuming at that point that the car would surely have cruise control.
Anyway, I drove the car away with a big smile on my face. I drove to my mum's to show her the car. She lives on the other side of town so it requires a motorway trip. "Brilliant", I thought, as I was driving down the motorway I was struggling to work out how to use the cruise control so I asked my partner in the passenger seat to look in the car handbook. I was horrified when there was an extra lever illustrated in the handbook that wasn't featured on my car.
The next day I rang up to chase the cheque I was waiting to collect for the £2,500 cashback the salesman offered me for my part exchange. I also mentioned that I'm really happy with the car but that I had one problem, the cruise control. Because of the nature of my business, this is almost a bare essential on any new car I would purchase. The salesman said, "Oh, I'm not sure what we can do about that, come in tonight to pick your cheque up and we'll talk about it".
Cautious that big garages have vast backing of legal teams I rang my local citizens advise Bureau to explain my situation as above who said I have two options... To go to the garage and ask for a remedy to my problem (I.E - ask them to fit cruise control or refund me the value to fit cruise control). Alternatively I can request either money back or an exchange for a vehicle of the same value..
Loaded with this information, I returned to the garage knowing I'm fully within my rights to get either or.. I discussed it with the salesman who agreed that I mistakenly told me the car had cruise control, I explained whether it's a mistake or not, I need a vehicle with cruise control. He agreed and spoke to someone higher up. After conferring for about 10 minutes, the person higher up came over and said they will check and see what they can do and will let me know by telephone the next day.
I apologise for blabbing, but I thought it would be best that everyone was familiar with the situation.
My question is where do I stand if the following happens:
- they offer to cancel my finance agreement (what are my rights to getting my original car back)
- they offer to fit cruise control at their cost (is it legally required to be done by a dealer or approved garage)
What else can I expect from the garage when they come back to me?